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At first glance, annatto seeds resemble fishbowl gravel. The color of terra cotta and the shape of small stones, this spice looks rather inedible. Annatto seeds are often ground for cooking or processed to use as a "culinary dye." The thin coating of the seed is removed to produce a basic pigment known as "bixin." This is what gives color to butter and cheese as well as salad dressings, fish products and confections. Annatto is a shrub native to the Caribbean, South and Central Americas. Also referred to as the Lipstick tree, it has glossy leaves and pink starburst flowers. Seed pods are picked just as they begin to split and then dried in the sun. Peru is the largest producer while Brazil and Kenya are both known as major annatto processors.
Weight: 3.35 oz.(95 grams)
Packaging: Glass Jar
Storing: 1 Years Shelf Stable
Annatto is used in cooking to impart a rich yellow color and mild, distinctive flavor to foods such as rice and sauces, cheeses, fish and salad oil, and can be used as an inexpensive subsitute for saffron.
Annatto contains amino acids, calcium, iron and phosphorus, as well as vitamins B-2 and B-3. Annatto also contains beta-carotene and vitamin C, which are both potent antioxidants that help to prevent free-radical induced damage to your cells and DNA.
It also contains the phytochemicals cyanidin, ellagic acid, salicylic acid, saponins and tannins. Phytochemicals are compounds found naturally in plants that help to prevent and treat disease in humans.
Annatto seeds have diuretic, antibacterial and astringent properties.
They are also used to help tone, balance and strengthen the liver and reduce liver inflammation.
They are also purported to lower total cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and treat edema.
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